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These are the following options one can follow:

  1.  Notify management of you safety concerns. (not the best option)
  2. Notify a union representative or safety committee member
  3. Once one of these actions have been taken and the situation has not beend

Your Safety is important to us

Key Phrase:  The Employer and the Union agree that the safety of the employees and the general public is of utmost importance… The contract language responds to a variety of areas related to safety, health, ergonomics, climatic conditions as well as federal, state and local laws dedicated to providing a safe and healthy workplace…. The Employer shall not require employees to take out on the streets or highways any vehicle, or use any type of equipment, that is not in a safe operating condition or equipped with the safety appliances prescribed by law.

Problem:

Workers complain about conditions, but don’t take action in improving working conditions.  A couple of reasons are either the worker does not know what actions they care take, are not aware of their working conditions, or are too afraid to take action in order to improve their working conditions.

Workers also will accept a situation in which hazards exist or they have inadequate equipment.  Employees have the right to demand safe working conditions or properly working equipment.  The one thing a person in management does not want to do, is instruct an employee to work unsafe.  Speaking up rarely happens, but should.  Safety is important.

Example

  • No clean drinking water available to the employee
  • No heat during cold weather
  • No means in which to ventilate a working area during extreme heat (Section 6)
  • Workplace violence, even threats fall under OSHA
  • Employees use broken or unserviceable equipment on the road in order to complete a task.  Such equipment includes hand-trucks.
  • Any safety concern that is not met through the normal channels allows one to file with OSHA.

** I’ve filed a OSHA complaint of a few occasions for various infractions.  Retaliation against me for filing is against the law.  I don’t recommend filing, but if you do file, then be prepared for possible harassment if management realizes that you’re the individual who filed.  Being discreet would probably be the best choice.  Otherwise, file and keep your mouth shut.

Opinion:

Safety is important.  No one want to get hurt.  If you do, then you found the perfect profession.  Hazards do exist in our business when one is not paying attention.  It is not just a matter getting injured, because you were not paying attention.  Hazards include your environment and equipment.   It is not to much to ask for proper working equipment or a hazard free work area.  Hazards include, heat and cooling devices (in the summer).  This is the land of the free and home of the brave meaning we have rights that are not enjoyed in other places throughout the world.  Unions fought for the safer working conditions we enjoy today.  What is more important is that we don’t become complacent in demanding safe working conditions, if not two things will happen;  one the conditions deteriorate and someone will get hurt.  This is the 21st Century and there is no need to return to the 19th Century. 

Questions, Comments, and Suggestions

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The New 804: 21st Century Approach to Unionism

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